This is a lovely Italian dish that will grace a lunch or supper table, served with rice a green salad and a vibrant South Oz white wine. I have adapted it from a great cook book recently purchased which is consulted several times a week, because its recipes are so good. It is “Gastronomy of Italy” by Anna del Conte. (From Amazon UK at £29.75 plus postage – worth every penny it’s a treasure trove of food you can cook in Cyprus).
Ingredients for four servings
4 squid, about 20 cm / 8 in long
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
1 small, mild dried chilli, crumbled
3 garlic cloves, chopped
7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 salted anchovies, boned, rinsed and chopped, or 4 canned or bottled anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
50 g /2 oz fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp dry white wine
400 g / 14 oz canned plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C /400°F
- Clean the squid, leaving the sacs whole. Wash them very well. Detach the wings and the tentacles and chop them.
- Sauté the parsley, marjoram, chilli and garlic in a frying pan (skillet) with 3 tablespoons of the oil for I minute, then add the chopped wings and tentacles and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the anchovies and after 30 seconds or so, stir in the breadcrumbs.
- Cook until they begin to get crisp and golden.
- Season to taste and then put the mixture into the squid sacs. The sacs should only be two-thirds full or they will burst during cooking. Pin each top closed by threading with a wooden toothpick.
- Pour the remaining oil into a roasting pan and heat until hot.
- Add the onion and sauté until soft.
- Add the squid and cook for 5 minutes over gentle heat, turning them over slowly.
- Pour over the wine and tomatoes, season to taste and bring slowly to the boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes. Cover the tin with foil, place in the preheated oven and cook for one hour.
To serve the squid you can either cut each one in half and give two opened halves per person, or you can slice the squid into 2-cm / ¾-inch slices and spoon them and the tomato sauce on to a bed of boiled rice.
Though this is a very good dish for a light dinner, there are some deliciously robust flavours in it and I think it needs a bright and fruity wine with plenty to say for itself. I have just the thing…
St. Hallett “Poacher’s Blend” 2007 €9.30 from Cava Remuage, Paphos Tel: 7777 7525 and 9965 5812 **** AbV 11.5% VFM 9/10
The enterprising Neophytos Spyrides brings in some interesting and desirable wines from around the world. This very ebullient white, an unusual blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, grown and made in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, has wowed critics in the UK with its full fruit and bounce. Nicely chilled this is a super match from shrimp, lobster and recipes like the one above. My advice is simple: get some!
Outstanding value, too, with a screw cap, so no bad bottles!